Dazzling Gundogan double delivers Manchester City derby day Emirates FA Cup glory

Saturday 03 Jun 2023
Gundogan's double sealed City's first Emirates FA Cup triumph since their victory over Watford four years ago

Ilkay Gundogan’s stunning pair of volleys fired Manchester City to a derby day Emirates FA Cup Final triumph to keep their hopes of a historic Treble alive.

The in-form City skipper grabbed two brilliant goals either side of half-time to sink rivals Manchester United at Wembley and propel Pep Guardiola’s side to their first title in the competition since 2019.

Gundogan required a record-breaking 12 seconds to open the scoring as his long-range thunderbolt left David de Gea rooted to the spot and marked the fastest goal in an Emirates FA Cup Final.

Manchester City v Manchester United
  • Emirates FA Cup
  • Final
  • Saturday 3 June
Bruno Fernandes levelled from the spot to tee up a tantalising second period but Gundogan struck once again just after the break to seal the Premier League champions’ second trophy of the season.

The result now sets up a titanic Turkish tussle with Inter Milan in next weekend’s Champions League final as City bid to emulate United’s Treble-winning exploits under Sir Alex Ferguson – who was present at Wembley – in Istanbul.

Guardiola reverted back to his big-hitters as captain Gundogan, Erling Haaland, Kevin De Bruyne and Jack Grealish all started after being rested for the final game of the Premier League season.

Stefan Ortega started in goal as the City boss stayed loyal to his No.2 and regular Emirates FA Cup shot-stopper in favour of Ederson.

And for United, Ten Hag was without winger Antony through injury as England star Jadon Sancho was deployed on the flank.

The game kicked off in front of an electric atmosphere under the arch and sensationally, it took just 12 seconds for Guardiola’s Treble-chasers to seize the lead.

Victor Lindelof, who scored the winning penalty in United’s semi-final triumph against Brighton & Hove Albion, was indecisive dealing with Ortega’s long ball and after De Bruyne’s knockdown, Gundogan volleyed home a thunderous strike into De Gea’s top corner.

It marked the quickest ever goal in an Emirates FA Cup Final after eclipsing former United striker Louis Saha’s 25-second effort for Everton against Chelsea in 2009.

City were sizzling in the Wembley sunshine and almost deservedly doubled their lead when Haaland was unable to steer home Gundogan’s laser-precise pass into the penalty area.

United grew gradually into the contest as Casemiro asserted greater influence in possession and Marcus Rashford looked lively.

But it was still the team in blue who were creating the clearer cut opportunities as De Bruyne fired narrowly wide from outside the box.

That all changed just moments later when United were awarded a penalty against the run of play.

Grealish handled Aaron Wan-Bissaka’s header across the face of the goal and after a VAR check at the pitchside monitor, referee Paul Tierney pointed to the spot.

Fernandes stepped up in front of a gesticulating wall of City fans but showed ice-cool nerves to send Ortega the wrong way and restore parity in the increasingly compelling contest.

United wasted a golden opportunity to grab the lead just before the break when Raphael Varane volleyed over while unmarked in the box.

The Red Devils finished the half strongly but the game remained finely poised at the interval after a pulsating 45 minutes in the capital.

Sancho embarked on a mazy run into the box before De Bruyne’s low cross somehow failed to find a City shirt at the other end.

But just seconds later, the brilliant Belgian firmly rediscovered his radar to find talismanic teammate Gundogan and tee up City’s second.

De Bruyne’s chipped free-kick found a lurking Gundogan on the edge of the box, who dexterously adjusted his balance to volley home into the bottom corner with his weaker left foot.

City were starting to boss possession as Rodri, Gundogan and the revolutionised John Stones – deployed in his now usual midfield role – effortlessly dictated the play.

United were struggling to hit Guardiola’s side on the break but almost grabbed a leveller when Rashford rifled over.

Ten Hag threw on teenage talent Alejandro Garnacho just after the hour mark – and the Argentinian ace’s introduction almost reaped immediate rewards when he curled wide after a dangerous run down the left.

United did start to enjoy more sustained spells of territory in the City half as Wout Weghorst and Scott McTominay were also introduced in a frantic bid to rescue an equaliser.

And that plan almost came to fruition when Varane’s header hit the bar and McTominay’s follow up was deflected behind for a corner after a moment of panic in the City box.

United continued to rally but were unable to salvage extra-time as City clung on to tee up a date with destiny in Istanbul next weekend.

Pep Guardiola said: "We can now talk about the Treble. Of course we still have to win the Champions League. We performed so well for our city and our fans.

"They follow man to man so tight and we didn't expect them to defend so narrow. We found more spaces in the second half.

"Tomorrow and the next day they can have off. We've then got three or four sessions to train for Inter Milan. We'll travel on Thursday morning after training.

"It was so important for us today. The FA Cup is so nice.

"I'm a Barcelona fan but I will love this club for the rest of my life. I know today we gave our fans a good gift to enjoy against our neighbours."

Ilkay Gundogan said: "To win a final is always special. Every trophy is special. This group deserves it. We played really well, second half was amazing and we deserved to lift another trophy.

"Obviously we know how we want to play the kick off and we aim to do that, to go long for Erling and try to get a second ball. It just placed amazingly for me and I just had to hit it. Obviously it was a quite good strike."

Jack Grealish said: "Unbelievable. It's stuff you dream of when you're a little kid. I was desperate to win one at Villa and now I've done it.

"The best thing about this team is we have a mix of everything. Everyone is confident, we've got older more experienced lads and the younger lads are learning too.

"We'll have a good night tonight and then straight back at it on Sunday and Monday for a big game next week."

Bruno Fernandes said: "Everyone is down and it's really difficult. We wanted to end the season in a different way but it wasn't possible.

"We've made big steps for next season, it wasn't a successful season overall but it was a good one. We have come back next season and try to win bigger trophies."

"Our fans have been great all season and they deserved a different result today. We're disappointed that we couldn't give fans the joy they deserve.

"We are grateful for everything they have done this season. I promise we will come and try again next season."

Manchester City (3-2-4-1): 18 Stefan Ortega; 2 Kyle Walker, 3 Ruben Dias, 25 Manuel Akanji; 5 John Stones, 16 Rodri; 20 Bernardo Silva, 17 Kevin De Bruyne, 8 Ilkay Gundogan, 10 Jack Grealish; 9 Erling Haaland

Substitutes: 47 Phil Foden for De Bruyne 76’, 6 Nathan Ake for Grealish 89’, 14 Aymeric Laporte for Walker 90’

Substitutes not used: 4 Kalvin Phillips, 19 Julian Alvarez, 26 Riyad Mahrez, 32 Ederson, 80 Cole Palmer, 82 Rico Lewis

Head coach: Pep Guardiola 

Goals: Gundogan 1’, 51’

Manchester United (4-2-3-1): 1 David de Gea; 29 Aaron Wan-Bissaka, 2 Victor Lindelof, 19 Raphael Varane, 23 Luke Shaw; 18 Casemiro, 17 Fred; 8 Bruno Fernandes, 14 Cristian Eriksen, 25 Jadon Sancho; 10 Marcus Rashford

Substitutes: 49 Alejandro Garnacho for Eriksen 62’, 27 Wout Weghorst for Sancho 78’, 39 Scott McTominay for Lindelof 83’

Substitutes not used: 5 Harry Maguire, 12 Tyrell Malacia, 20 Diogo Dalot, , 28 Facundo Pellistri, 31 Jack Butland, 36 Anthony Elanga, 

Head coach: Erik ten Hag

Goals: Fernandes 33’

Referee: Paul Tierney

By Will Jennings